Microsoft’s Windows Package Manager, also known as fin, eliminates the need to browse the Microsoft Store app every time you want to download an app.
Now in its full version, Windows Package Manager v1.0 is a command line program that instructs Windows to find an application and install it.
Winget makes it easy to automate app management by letting you install, upgrade, configure, and uninstall apps. But, before we see how you can use winget for these tasks, let’s make sure that the Windows Package Manager is properly installed.
How to install Winget
There are several ways to install the stable version of the Windows 10 Package Manager. Microsoft will soon begin shipping Winget via an automatic update on devices running Windows 10, version 1809 or later.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at how you can install winget manually.
- Using the Microsoft Store: Search for App Installer in the Microsoft Store to install winget.
- Using the GitHub version file: Download the latest version file from the Microsoft Windows Package Manager GitHub. Double-click on the .appxbundle file and follow the installation wizard prompts.
How to use Winget
You can get the current list of available winget commands by running it in Command Prompt or PowerShell. Alternatively, you can download Windows Terminal and use it as well.
Type fin in the command line and press Enter. This should present a list of all winget commands. Let’s take a look at some winget commands and see what they do for us.
1. Search for applications
Winget can find the apps you want to install by referring to the information in the metadata fields, such as name and tags. To search for an app, you will need to use the search command. For example, if you wanted to install Firefox, you would use the following command:
winget search firefox
2. Obtain information about the package
If you want to check additional information, such as app version or description, you can use the winget show “Id” order. Here you will need to search for the ID using wing search then run the wings show order. For example, if we wanted more information about Firefox, we would run the following command:
winget show mozilla.firefox
3. Install and upgrade applications
You can install apps using winget or check if your currently installed packages have any upgrades available. You can use the following commands for installation or upgrades, respectively:
winget install firefox
winget upgrade firefox
If you want to upgrade all installed packages, you can use the following command:
winget upgrade --all
You can even choose to run your package installation in the background with the following command:
winget install firefox --silent
4. Uninstall applications
If you have decided to clean your PC and want a list of installed apps, you can use the following commands to get the list and uninstall an app, respectively:
winget uninstall firefox
You can now say goodbye to the Microsoft Store (almost)
Sometimes an application you are looking for does not exist in Windows Package Manager. However, you can ask Microsoft to add this package so that others can find it. You can download the Windows Package Manager manifesto creator, i.e. winget creation, from GitHub. You will need to locate the installer link and provide it to Microsoft for them to review.
The introduction of the stable version of winget means that there is one less difference between Windows and Linux that is arousing envy among Windows users. Nevertheless, several differences remain between the two popular operating systems.
Not sure whether to choose Linux or Windows? Here’s how the two operating systems differ, and why switching isn’t as difficult as you might think.
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